The College of West Anglia

Access to Medicine

Our Access to Higher Education: Medicine and Dentistry diploma is designed for adults who, for one reason or another, have not had the opportunity to study towards a degree or diploma or have achieved in other areas and now wish to retrain to become a doctor. It may also be suitable for people who have previously taken a degree in a non-science subject and now want to retrain.

If you already hold a degree, then acceptance for the course will be dependant on degree classification. University medical schools do not usually accept students with a recent degree below grade 2:1. If you are in the latter category and in doubt, we advise you to check entry requirements with specific universities. Our course is well established and is recognised by 20 medical schools, with a separate pathway for those who wish to train in dentistry.

The dentistry pathway encompasses the same core subjects as medicine, with an additional subject option – ‘the mouth in health and disease’. This unit involves study of the underlying principles of examination, diagnosis and treatment and includes periodontics and prosthetics. Students intending to progress to dental schools would benefit from taking this additional unit.

About the course

The main subjects studied are biology, chemistry and physics, with ancillary subjects of mathematics and medical geography. You will also complete a project; this will be an opportunity to focus on an area you may wish to specialise in later. You will receive guidance and help in selecting, organising, analysing and presenting the project. There is an end examination and assignments for each subject – final grading in each subject will be 50% assignment, 50% examination. In addition, students also have to complete the project report.

You will need to fulfill the set tasks of the course (such as essays and projects) and will need to spend a lot of time actively studying and learning and reading around your subjects. You should be prepared to undertake approximately 20 to 30 hours study every week – in addition to the class times. There will be a total of approximately 19 hours of lectures, seminars and practicals each week. The earliest classes start at 8.45am and most classes will finish on or before 4.15pm. Lectures may also be held on one evening each week.

Medical schools

We advise all prospective applicants to do their own research to get an idea of their likely acceptability for medicine before they start the course. This is best done by looking at medical schools’ websites or their prospectuses. You will be required to take UKCAT (UK Clinical Admissions Test). However medical school entry requirements do vary and you may be required to take BMAT (British Medical Admissions Tests).

The following medical schools accept the course (please check with individual schools for full details of their entry requirements):

Aberdeen Leeds
Brighton and Sussex Leicester
Cambridge Liverpool
Cardiff Manchester
Durham Newcastle
East Anglia Oxford
Edinburgh Royal Free and University College
Kings Sheffield
Hull York Southampton

Access to Medicine students have also gone on to study medicine via the 4-year fast track courses at Cambridge, Leicester, Newcastle, and Southampton.